PRICES across the board improved at last Wednesday's Warwick sheep sale, highlighted by hoggets reaching $260 a head.
The top-selling run of Dorper ewe hoggets topped the section, which accounted for 190 head of the total yarding of more than 1500.
Hoggets destined for the trade market ranged in price from $171/hd to $195/hd, while most averaged about $158.
Despite the pen of ewe hoggets topping the sale, it was the light lamb restocker and trade lamb market which enjoyed the biggest rises from the previous week.
Accounting for 882 head in last Wednesday's draft, the young lamb market was dominated by Dorper and Dorper-cross runs, with pens selling from $92 to $233 and averaging $178.
It was a similar story in the trade lamb category, as the upward trend continued sending high-quality drafts to about the $180 to $196 mark, while drafts were as much as $29 better than the previous week.
Warwick stock agent George McVeigh, TopX, said the bump in prices was thanks in part to the easing of recent wet weather.
"The trade lamb job bounced back really well and the store lamb job was a bit dearer than the previous week as well," Mr McVeigh said.
"Actually, the whole sale was probably a bit better across the board.
"I put that down to having a nice little dry spell and a few more trade buyers getting along to the sale."
Despite younger lambs and hoggets enjoying a price jump, grown sheep prices dipped due in part to a mixed quality yarding.
Medium-sized Dorper ewes, which were slated to be returning to the paddock, topped the section at $194, while a pen of first-cross ewes sold for $190.
Heavy ewes purchased by processers reached $150, while Dorper wethers were knocked down for $171.
A pen of mixed-age cross-bred ewes and lambs sold $140/unit.
Prices for older lambs continued to hold firm with most of the 262 head up for bids ranging in price from $140 to $249 and averaging $172.
It was a similar story in the ewe category as prices ranged for the 123 head penned ranged from $32 to the $194 top with most pens averaging $134.
Only five rams were offered at last Wednesday's sale, ranging in price from $50 to a top of $190 to average $118.
Mr McVeigh said the sale attracted interest from local and metropolitan processors, as well as restockers.
"The big thing influencing the market at the moment, particularly the store lamb market, is the wet weather," he said.
"It sounds strange, but the wetter it is the harder it is to feed, so those prices may fluctuate a bit with the weather.
"Otherwise, prices have pretty much maintained across the categories pretty well over the past few weeks."
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